Today, Sports Illustrated released the remainder of its list of the Top 100 NBA players. Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez managed to make the cut.
Brooklyn Nets fans know and love Brook Lopez. The one-time All-Star has been with the Nets for eight years and has been their most consistent player.
Though Lopez is the team’s longest tenured player (half of his career took place in New Jersey), he is not a flashy franchise player, with the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard. Despite that, there is no question that Lopez is still the star of the Nets, and he will share the spotlight with former New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin this season.
Yesterday, Sports Illustrated released their rankings from No. 51 to 100 for the top 100 NBA players in 2017. Today, SI published the rest of the rankings, and Lopez sits at No. 38. Lopez is the only Net to make the cut on SI’s rankings.
Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated discussed what Lopez has brought to the Nets:
"Very few of the league’s post specialists have a good sense of how to move and duck in at an opportune moment for an easy score, yet Lopez bolsters his efficiency on touches of that very kind. There’s only so much that a defense can do when a 7-footer slices through the lane for a deep, unexpected catch. Lopez takes that opportunity and runs with it, creating an additional lane of accessibility for his skilled offensive game. Thanks to wrinkles like this, Lopez could still function as a primary or secondary scoring option on a very good team. There just isn’t much in his game to actually elevate lesser players around him—especially given that Lopez is only an occasional passer from the low block and largely just a passable interior defender. He works, in good times and bad, as something of a monolith."
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As a 7-footer, Lopez dominates the paint, which Mahoney points out. However, Mahoney also states that Lopez doesn’t help better his teammates. This is understandable, since most of the Nets’ offense is centered around creating the best opportunities for Lopez.
Lopez nearly topped his career-best averages last season. In 73 games, he tallied 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. This is the third season of his career that he posted at least 20 points per game.
At just 28 years old, Lopez is already the Nets franchise’s second all-time leading scorer with 8905 points. He has been Brooklyn’s leading scorer ever since the Nets moved to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season.
For several years and even this offseason, there have been trade rumors circled around Lopez. However, there has been no indication that the Nets plan on trading Lopez. For now, he remains as a Net.